Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries hosted the second workshop of the Accountability and Transparency (ACT) project on Sunday, 27th February, 2011. The ACT project, funded by UNDP,is designed to support the Government of Afghanistan in the fight against corruption. Several private sector representatives, officials from the Ministry of Finance as well as ACCI participated in the workshop.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, ACCI Chief Executive Officer expressed his appreciation for the ACT initiative saying it is a major step in fostering accountability and transparency in the Ministry of Finance. The Chamber’s CEO offered that private sector participation in the workshop will increase their awareness of procedures in the Ministry of Finance especially the rules, regulations, and procedures governing collection of taxes, the structure and role of the offices in the ministry and how the inner-working of the ministry hinders private sector needs.
“This meeting, as was the meeting last year, is aimed at improving private sector and civil society representation in the process of developing accountability and transparency in the Ministry of Finance.” said Mr. Haqjo.
Following Mr. Haqjo’s comments, Mr. Sayed Akram Afzali, head of the civil society section in the UN ACT project briefed the participants on the meeting agenda. Mr. Afzali also spoke of the assistance UNDP provides to the Ministry of Finance and explained how he thought the ministry would work with the private sector in the future.
Mr. Abdul Saboor Jasoor, head of appeals section in the ACT project, talked about administrative corruption and the ways to fight against it. Participants shared their views and asked questions about the ACT project and inquired about UNDP procedures for considering proposals to promote accountability and transparency.
Mohammad Raziq Wahidi, Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Finance told participants that his ministry is working to develop a Board of Transparency and Accountability that would include two representatives of the private sector. The Chief of Staff also explained the channels for addressing complaints and improving transparency.
The workshop concluded with comments by participants who believed that some improvements have been made in the fight against administrative corruption. Private sector representatives urged ACCI to nominate individuals who could represent the private sector appropriately in the Board of Transparency and Accountability.